Sonoma and Napa Winery Clubs
We live in Marin and make frequent trips to the wine country. We enjoy some of the winery clubs, primarily for the special dinners and other social events that many of them have. We just got the bad news that J Winery is discontinuing food pairings at its tasting bar (one of the big attractions for us) and we probably will quit their club and join another one. Can anyone recommend a winery club that has a good calendar of member events, good wines and doesn't require a huge annual purchase commitment?
Weird, my wife and I also cancelled our J membership for very much the same reasons already articulated here. One of the tasting room employees told us that a lot of people were unhappy with the changes, but they were made because the wine club membership was too large, and this was their way of shrinking their club.
We belong to Sunce and once a year you can work the bottling lines and take home a case of the wine for your trouble.
I just resigned J because of the change - I loved the food pairings. I live close to this winery and it was a great treat for visiting friends. They also changed their discount model. I also belong to Bella on West Dry Creek - they throw great parties - both in the summer and during the holidays - a winter wonderland that is fantastic. They have great dinners for club members too. Another on that has a great harvest party is Wattle Creek in Geyserville.
I live in Santa Rosa and belong to Quivira on the Sonoma Dry Creek side and Joseph Phelps on the Napa side. Both produce great wines and have fun member events. I hate driving on Highway 29 in Napa so I only go to Wineries on the Silverado Trail since I can get there via Petrified Forest Road.
I can second the Iron Horse suggestion - beautiful tasting area and the events we have attended this past year have been a lot of fun. Plus shipments that include bubbles.
De Loach ships great wines and I have had great experiences bringing friends to their tasting room - same for Dry Creek.
Ridge is also good - they ship their wines from the central coast area and the sonoma area so you get a nice variety.
I would not rec: Rodney Strong, Mazzocco, Quivira based upon my experiences with their staff in their tasting room.
Go to Moshin Vineyards on West Side Road near the beautiful Russian River Valley. They have one of the best wine clubs and hosted by many different wine makers.
They are fun, realistic, and value there members.
This is coming from a Russian River Local!
Russian River Vineyards used to be Topolos on 116 outside Forestville.
They are similar to Moshin with there own style. Many wine makers with talent. Boutique and fun club.
Enjoy and you will be able to catch more on VINOTUBE soon!
Cline makes decent wine, but their semi-annual Harvest parties are great. 2 bottles per quarter gets you an invite for 2 to their parties, which offer free unlimited pours of all their wines and a pretty good lunch spread. You also get tasting fees waived every time you visit.
The Sinskey suggestion is outstanding. We were members for 8 years and were never disappointed. Still a member of Artesa, the summer BBQ is the best in the valley. Cliff Lede is another we are still a member of and just think it's outstanding. Miner Family is great, you can't miss with a membership there.
I must confess, we recently moved from the bay area to northern Florida, Amelia Island to be exact. Before moving we were in 11 wine clubs. It was fine since for the most part we were able to pick up our shipments at the wineries. However, since we moved shipping is involved so we dropped all but two, Artesa and Lede.
The member events at both of these are outstanding. Sinskey has food pairings at the tasting room every Saturday plus recipes with their shipments. We loved this membership, just had to make a decision on what to keep. If we were still there, Sinskey would be a no brainer.